Grandma's Ninja Warrior Diary: How a Ream of Paper Is Like Going to the Gym

Maintaining motivation long-term can be quite challenging. One would like to think that one week of hard work would show up somewhere somehow in something, right? Alas, no. And age, equally alas, plays a role, even if we try to get around it or deny it. There is some evidence--factual, medicaal--that recovery time for muscles that have been worked hard increases with age. Personally, I have found that it takes 2-3 days, typically three days, to recover whereas the young ninjas need only a day, as I did during my Army time. 

So, I do with myself what my trainer does with me: one day concentrate on upper body, the second day on abs, the third day on lower body, and most days also on cardio. Cardio is another challenge for me; it seems that I do run out of breath too quckly. Not energy. Just breath. But breathing is rather important.

So, all of this can be disouraging. It is like reading one page of a book a day, It takes many days to finish the book, and a sense of the story within does not jump out for a long time.

Likewise, if one is stacking paper, or even writing a few words a day on a piece of paper, one week looks like nothing and one month not much more.

Michener, author of very hefty books, said he wrote them by making sure he wrote every day, even if it were only a few words. They would all add up. His books are proof that they did.

I guess physical training is pretty much the same. If at least a little is done every single day, it will add up over time even though it is not readily seen.

Having put in at least 500 days of training (actually about 150% of that!), I have stacked up the equivalent of a ream (or more) of paper. That is significant. One page at a time with seemingly no progress--and suddently, there is a ream.

As for how that ream looks in the physical training world--the spare tire is gone though the pounds linger and I wrestle with them constantly; I can do more pushups than I could while in the Army and 50 years younger; I can run faster than I could when I was in the Army and for about as long; and I can left heavier loads than my husband, who happily lets me do the heavy lifting these days.

Yep, at least one ream has been gathered. On to the second...

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